Oak Island Teases Again

Ersatz Gold

DATELINE:  Missing in Action 

If there is any major development in the 11thepisode of the season, it is that there is a reference to the likely deterioration of weather ahead. Yes, another season os summery digging is about over. The Curse of Oak Island may be one for the books.

What has emerged in the recent episode is a continued absence of major figures. There has been another week with no direct appearance of Marty and Alex Lagina, nor Peter Fornetti. It is about the length of time for a quarantine. They’d never tell you that detail.

 

The two doctors, Ian Spooner and Aaron Taylor, have taken up major roles as advisors again this week.

Most of the on-site work has been hosted by Rick Lagina and the supporting workers. Marty shows up in a later filmed narrative analysis.

A growing chorus of responders keep asking us about Dave Blankenship, but he is gone for good, bought out by the Laginas and sent packing.  Nor is cartographer Erin Helton mentioned this week.

We spend much time again in the boring down to 180 feet where splinters of wood should not be. There is talk (again) of being near the money pit, with Money Bags 1 and 2 giving approval to dig.

Gary Drayton again is central to the discoveries of the week: a mysterious gold colored knob from a chest of drawers. Gary contends it belonged to a ship’s captain, and there is nothing to disprove his usual insight.

He later discovers a large post buried in the swamp with two massive spikes. It is a dock for a major ship.

In your usual disappointing news, the serpent mound is dismissed finally as a rubble field. Yet, the night’s show has been eventful and interesting.

Oak Island Star Emerges

Erin Helton

 

DATELINE: Busy Week

If you need to boost ratings on a sagging treasure hunt that seems to go nowhere and digs up the same old coin and broken axe weekly, you could not do worse than cartographer icon Erin Helton.

She made another appearance and a bigger splash than Carmen Legge or Dr. Ian Spooner. Has she taken the place of Dr. Brousseau?

Erin knocked the War Room for a loop with her latest discovery that crossed out the boundary of map reading. She announced that the famous cross of the Templars found by Gary Drayton on the shoreline is not necessarily what you think.

She told them to use the misshapen cross like a protractor and draw some lines to overlay on a map of the island. Hmmm. Has she found something?

Dr. Spooner showed up for a couple of intriguing moments: he went out into the swamp with Rick Lagina to discover a road or platform over 70 feet wide. And later he took Alex Lagina out to examine the old eroded shorelines to figure out what it looked like 1000 years ago.

Alex looks like he has been eating too much during the pandemic, locked up with his father, and so he jumped at the chance to go out looking at sonar to find ship wrecks along the island shore.

And, Carmen Legge confirmed Gary Drayton’s immediate judgment that a piece of metal was a 1700 pot belly stove from a ship.

These findings set the table for more fascinating developments.

 

 

 

Another Smart Woman on Oak Island

Cartographer Erin

DATELINE: Cartographer Erin

So much for that dumb Fellowship of the Dig. They wouldn’t know what they have or where to look if it weren’t for the occasional drop-in woman scientist. The latest is named Erin Helton, and she is a cartographer with IT skills.

She has taken the 1397 map Rick Lagina found with the help of an elderly woman five years ago, Zena. She claimed it was drawn by the Templars of Oak Island. It contained many written site markers that can still correspond to the Island today, but several items are vague and unknown.

She has taken her computer skills to find east-west markers of great precision that correspond to the map. It even makes Marty Lagina sit up and take notice. She identifies the “anchors” on the map, heretofore a mystery. They may be located and could provide data to triangulate a Templar find.

When the key members of the group go out (Alex, Jack, Gary, and surveyor Steve) to find the stones, they are small and precisely where they ought to be.

It is Alex Lagina who draws a parallel to a Templar carving in Westford, MA, that is of a sailing ship, thought to be from 1347. He thinks there is a vague outline similar on another rock. If these are accurate, the team has found something of significance as markers of treasure.

Another smaller finding has Rick Lagina go out with Gary, usually a sign that something big may happen: they locate a hinge from what Gary calls a Victorian cabinet. We never doubt him, and we never need the so-called experts to arrive to confirm his insights.

Small findings, on the surface, may mean bigger news later.

 

 

Oxen Free on Oak Island

Chinese Coin

 DATELINE: SEASON 8, E3

A couple of mysteries seem to be reluctantly and obliquely revealed on the Curse of Oak Island by the Lagina brothers.

The one most people have asked about is whatever has happened to Dave Blankenship, the unfunny curmudgeon son of Dan who died a few seasons ago.

Dave has gone MIA, and no one at History is telling anything directly. However, in the first episode, there was mention that researchers suddenly had complete access to Dan Blankenship’s fifty years of archival material.

This week the throwaway line mentions that the Lagina Brothers have purchased all of Dan Blankenship’s island property and materials. Oh, that? 

It means they also bought Dave lock, stock, and barrel. Whether he has moved off island with the loot is unclear so far, but his father’s house had been occupied by a daughter last season. No mention this year.

If Dave has taken the Lagina money and is on the run, you won’t see him again. We doubt that his name will pass the lips of any Lagina.

Once again, too, we note that Alex Lagina, son of millionaire Marty, has again taken the cushy duty. He is the one to deal with educated researchers and stays away from mud and digs.

So, he meets with another expert to show the Chinese coin Gary Drayton located. It is never explained how or why a coin from China happens to be on Oak Island. Who knows?

Gary and Jack Begley are the new dig team with results. And, this time they find a pathway strewn with oxen shoes. It was an industrial moving site from swamp to money pit.

Alex goes to Carmen Legge, their blacksmithy expert who reveals the oxen shoes are from different seasons and likely are 100 years before the money pit discovery. He also tells Alex that the oxen shoes are British military issue.

In other news, we are going to have more draining of the swamp over the next few weeks. This time it will be big time with metal dams installed.

 

 

Repeated Discoveries on Oak Island S8

Where’s Waldo?

 DATELINE:  MIA

 With the second episode of season 8, it is clear that regular and original treasure hunter Dave Blankenship has been either evicted, fired, or otherwise removed from the series. He was a figure head “producer,” for years, meaning his father owned a better part of the Island for years. It now rings hollow when members of the team refer to a re-assembly of the “fellowship.”

At least one jolly good fellow has been eliminated. You could say that Dave Blankenship’s comic relief had run its course, finally and unfunnily.

We have seen this pattern in other History shows, and Dave has been on borrowed time since the death of his father—and he has added little to the show development for many years.

In the meantime, we have two couples in quarantine: Rick and nephew Peter in one house, and Alex and father Marty in another, receiving video call updates from the workers in the field. The real treasure hunters did find a surveyor’s mark in a flat stone, one of many found in 200 years, but the first by this team.

The most curious discovery is to see inside Rick Lagina’s Oak Island home, which he shares with his puppy nephew.

However, the series continues to read like a repeat of itself. Once again, we have some small discoveries that echo past findings. Gary Drayton, as usual, is the main explorer with a touch of near-non-ferrous. He locates another broken pickaxe.

There is also a button and piece of leather. Laird Niven disagrees that it is book-binding and immediately says, “shoe leather.”

Yet, the big news of the night is Gary’s withholding of a rare coin until the Laginas can show up after quarantine. They agree it needs more expertise analysis, but Gary’s sense is always prescient. He claims it is quite old, well before the hunting for treasure and perhaps one of the original diggers.

In all gatherings, the absence of a Blankenship is notable, and even the newly discovered map in an archive is credited to Dan Blankenship’s work in the 1980s in passing.

Oak Island Returns for S 8

Boys in Quarantine

DATELINE: Two Young Stars Out for Covid-19

 History Channel gave the new season 8  start of Curse of Oak Island one of their 2-hour special starts. That may be due to the fact that the principals were all trapped back in the USA, unable to reach Oak Island and the return of the hunt.

Yes, Covid-19 may have put a damper on the Lagina brothers and their participation in their own show. It became the “Remote Control” episode. Interestingly enough, none of the major stars (Marty, Alex, Rick, Jack Begley, or Craig Tester) could find their way out of Michigan. 

 Yet, the rest of the team assembled, most of them already on the Island and ready to work.  What does that tell us? Oh, yes, Gary Drayton too was not on the island, probably back home in Florida. But thanks to Zoom, the gang was all there for a teleconference.

Tom Nolan, who lives on the Island, admitted that cases were still somewhat rampant in Nova Scotia. And Blankenship was nowhere to be seen, after years of offering little to the show.

 A new face cropped up: archaeologist Dave MacInnes, 4G grandson of the young man who found the original Money Pit in 1798. Nice choice.

Inexplicable actions continued this season to start: nothing much changes on the show. The diver Mike Huntley suddenly is replaced by a big rig team to go looking for shiny gold objects in the C-1 tunnel where for years cameras spotted golden flashes.

 However, the new group featured butterflingers. The diver dropped the gold coin he dug out of the wall and it fell into the dark dregs. No one swore, or said any discouraging word. But, please.  That dive team did not return.

And their diver did not locate any of the gold seen on camera. It seemed almost inexcusable to drop the gold piece.

 

Finally, the Laginas were given permission to go to Canada under the proviso of a two-week quarantine.  Again, they were unnecessary for any success.

What? Another Week of Season Seven?

DATELINE: Deadend Kids?

 Ball’s Tunnel?

It’s like lingering on a deathbed. Yet, here we are with another weekly survival on Curse of Oak Island. We are hanging on by a dendro count by our fingernails. Even Alex Lagina is starting to look shopworn, even with his filthy millions and clean hands.

Mother of Mercy, is there no one who will rid us of this meddlesome priest? Oh, wait, that’s another series altogether. If this continues, we think Gary Drayton will begin seeing the ghost of Hamlet’s father on the ramparts.

He does find a crowbar in what seems to be the true Money Pit. Legge thinks it is an anchor or pulley. He always impresses Alex. Gary realizes he needs a bigger metal detector.

Every time Carmen Legge says “1700” we begin to think it is a glitch on the audio. So, he shocks them by saying, “Middle Ages.”

At 120 feet below, there is again more coconut fiber. They also locate a metal shield that was used in 1931—not exactly the original diggers. But it does indicate that they have reached the end of searcher efforts.

Next should be original buried stuff. However, at this point, the crane pressure brace has broken. It’s a setback as the season comes to a finish. It does mean something is there causing the grinder to be blocked. But they are so desperate they are working into thedarkness.

This forces them to turn to excavating the home of a man who was once a slave but ended up super-wealthy. Samuel Ball had something tunneling under his house. Samuel Ball’s lot may have been over a much older vault. Something big may be apparent because Alex shows up and a camera is snaked deep into the tunnel.

Water, Water Everywhere on Oak Island

DATELINE:  Still Waters Not Found

We have arrived at the 16thweek of the 7thseason. It’s clear they will find nothing this season.

But the coconut hair indicates that they are near the booby trap of flood tunnel. Out of the muck, Gary Drayton starts to find a couple of spikes from the 1700s. These were original people who were digging to bury something.

Also, seismic explosions from earlier this season and used to produce sound waves have created a map of voids under the surface of 300 feet. However, they find a linear tunnel about sixty feet near the Money Pit from the Cove.

Their excavation with a huge new machine obviously finds a flood tunnel. Of course, the cavalier digging means a cave-in, having unstabilized the area. It’s almost like they sabotage their own hunt to extend the season till next year.

So, they move to the eye of the swamp where they believe the Templars may have hidden something.

But Gary wants to go to the spots where Hurricane Dorian stripped away the ground cover. His hunch proves right yet again. So, once again, Rick and Gary find some piece of lead that may have etchings on it.

But the swamp has large deposits of blue clay, an water sealant that is there to protect and make watertight something underneath.

The highpoint of the show is Dr. Christa Brosseau’s return to analyze the spikes Gary found. Alex brings them to her for an elemental analysis. She delivers the good news that the iron has phosphorus, meaning it is 18thcentury. She thinks they were from Britain or Northern Europe.

We are delighted that Drs. Spooner and Broseeau are now the voice of academic insight on Oak Island.

Hurricane Dorian: Not Quite Oak Island Waterloo

DATELINE: It Could be Worse

As we noted months ago, the direct hit on Oak Island by a large category 5 hurricane would effectively mean the end of the season.

As Marty Lagina opined with true fright, something bad was about to happen. They had just begun excavating the swamp with expensive equipment. They almost immediately found wooden carved pegs. These were similar to the ones found by Fred Nolan decades ago in the eenter of the swamp. It proved that the swamp was created before 1700.

By whom and why?

And now too the work at Smith’s Cove with the copper dam was also about to face flooding waters. The ocean levels have raised in centuries—and were now were going to reclaim the secrets.

Gary Drayton found some spikes that have been there for hundreds of years. Yet, Gary is disappointed that he did not find any coins or spoils from those builders. They were too too careful.

Digging for the Money Pit,  they found a tunnel that fed water into the treasure shaft. They feel they were near the original work spot and could be at the actual treasure site. It could all be for naught.

What this indicates is that there are two separate and distinct mysteries on the island. Two separate groups may have put treasure here in this remote and perfect spot.

They are discovering why so many previous hunters went broke in this endeavor. Millions of dollars could be wasted by these efforts and a natural disaster stopping them. Axe cut wood at 110 feet shows something completely new. It is darker and older than anything ever seen.

We are seeing Waterloo unfold before our hopes as historical discoveries emerge. Gary and Alex Lagina visit blacksmith historian Carmen Legg who gives them a date of 1600s for Gary’s latest findings.

Meanwhile, everything must be locked down in case winds over 150 mph hit within hours and with flooding. We were not shown the crew evacuating the island, which would have been real drama. Instead, we come back a day later–and a treasure short.

If you wonder about the notion of a curse at Oak Island, it is now unfolding with Dorian. The manmade causeway was severely damaged. Swamp needs to be re-drained. Yet, it’s not as bad as feared.

Big Dig and Little Dig on Oak Island

DATELINE: Waiting for Results Again

  Teammates!

Shaft #9 was originally dug in 1865 as a means to divert flood tunnel booby traps. It is a big job requiring the big man Billy. This lost shaft was given up when the group only decades after finding the Money Pit ran out of money. So, we have additional and new background on Curse of Oak Island.

It’s hard to believe they only now mention “The Highlands,” after five years of episodes.

This episode provides contrasts with the smaller discoveries of Gary Drayton, teamed with Peter Fornetti and Alex Lagina.  Fornetti is no longer the callow teenager of five years ago and now provides muscle for Gary Drayton’s searches. He is working on piles of dirt that render iron work from Spanish galleons that may have been laden with the treasure of the Aztecs.

Though Marty Lagina once disparaged the notion of Montezuma’s gold bags, he is enthralled when journalist D’Arcy O’Connor tells him the same thing. He adds that the Spanish lost about 200 ships going back and forth with gold spoils. Some may have gone sideways to Oak Island to hide their stolen loot.

Gary Drayton, meanwhile, has found a cribbing spike, greatly corroded. He and Alex take it to Carmen Legge, the latest expert to become a big man on the side of the search. He dates the find as 1600s.

The other big project is setting off 18,000 dynamite charges to map the underground, down to levels of 300 feet. The tease is that results won’t show for several weeks.

Interestingly, Marty Lagina was mostly absent from this episode, showing up on Skype mostly, which hints that he is busy working on the sister series of Civil War Gold.The team of Gary and Alex likely will show up on that one too.

  Did We Do This Before on Oak Island?

 DATELINE: It Only Feels Like a Rerun

Why do they keep drilling down when it is hit or miss? The Curse of Oak Island never really answers their alleged waste of money. They finally decide to do seismic testing.

The War Room gang entertain another historian, but this one is labeled a real expert by Marty Lagina: he is Chip Reid from Anapolis. He tells them the French likely built “water batteries” on Oak Island, which explains what the structures found in Smith Cove.

Reid, author and highly respected, tells them that there were several treasures dropped off over hundreds of years because secret Tempar knowledge shared the hiding spots for future protected items.

They also have another circus ring going on with GPR seismic imaging over at the original digger and discoverer, Daniel McGinnis whose ruins of a house are a national treasure. It now appears he had a secret cellar under the foundation.

They also refer to Dan Henskee as the new dean of the past and his information leads them to another spot that could direct the search to the Money Pit.

Oddly enough Henskee does not appear in the show. It is troubling about his health or condition.

As usual too, it is Gary Drayton who finds more stuff: this time he locates a chisel on the McGinnis land that indicates the original teenager who found the Money Pit was mining on his land back in 1800.

This was a holding pattern episode to set us up for something bigger and more shocking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer and Closer on Oak Island

DATELINE: Muddy Waters

 Magical 13 Branches?

For the seventh season, we feel more and more that it is just like many of the previous seasons—except results now are becoming more compelling.

Digging in the swamp has now proven a wooden shaft or structure that is man-made. By whom? That remains the constant conundrum.

Several other factors give us our déjà vu moment, again and again. This time they are talking about a bladder coffer dam to hold back sediment. It seems like the fourth season again.

Lagina Nephew Peter Fornetti remains omnipresent and omni-silent. But Alex Lagina is now speaking more forcefully, like a true star of the show.

If there is a striking element here, it is the rise of the second bananas over seven seasons: these individuals now sit regular at the big discussion table. They are integral to the search: Paul Troutman, Laird Nivens, Doug Crowell, Gary Drayton, and now the overweight big man of the bulldozers, Billy. Each has earned a following among fans.

However, the bobby dazzler himself, Gary Drayton continues to be the mover and shaker of all discoveries. This week is not unusual. He locates on the west side of the island some kind of brooch: a leaf on coils of rope. He contends it is quite old and was a rich soldier’s bauble, perhaps a uniform pin.

Once cleaned up, it proves to have 13 branches on the fern: but is more like the tree on George Washington’s flag. It is a Masonic and Templar symbol. It may have been the symbol of the American Revolution that wanted to bring Nova Scotia into the original colonies of the United States.

Carbon dating is more frequently turning up dates in the 1700s, often parallel to the American Revolution. It hints that Oak Island may have more to do with the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin and ties to the French allies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swamp Thing on Oak Island

 DATELINE: Progress on Oak Island

 Treasure Map?

Something is bogged down on Oak Island, under the swamp that is. We do have to admit this season of Curse of Oak Island is the best one so far.

Marty Lagina seems finally to be convinced that there is something in the swamp, though he is one to admit that the rocky side of Oak Island really has never been explored for tunnels. That remains the truly amazing detail.

Once again, academic experts are the real stars of this show. Dr. Ian Spooner provides a perspective of a scientist looking at the swamp—and only when he tells them it is man-made do they feel some vindication. The real question is why it took seven years to confirm a theory that the Nolan-Blankenship diggers postulated decades ago.

Heartthrob Alex Lagina is given a larger role, and lets his younger nephew Peter Fornetti tag along with historian Charles Barkhouse, as they visit Dr. Christa Brosseau at St. Mary’s College in Halifax.

She seems non-plussed at meeting yet another group of visitors from Oak Island. She tells them what Gary Drayton has claimed all along: those swages found were tools that go back to the original searchers, at the latest.

Why haven’t they invited her to the Island? Women are always an afterthought on Oak Island.

The multiple searches also pay off location of remnants of dynamite that was used around 1900 to try to shut off the flood mechanisms that have ruined many a search. Whenever these primitive technological devices were created on Oak Island, they garner respect for those under-educated pirates or knights who buried the whole shebang.

Once again, folkhero Gary Drayton takes on the unenviable task of diving into the swamp to locate iron in a perimeter area that is now called the all-seeing “Eye of the Swamp.”

Don’t let your pineal gland go to your head, but this indicates that there may be a gateway to treasure awaiting us.

 

 

 

 

Cores De-Valued on Oak Island

DATELINE: Digging and Drilling Continues, Season 7

 Not a Sledge!

 

If boring down again seems familiar, this time it is in the notorious swamp where no boredom is deep. If you seem to have a sense of deju vuall over again, we can understand it. Between the recaps that dominate the series almost three or four times per show, we are now re-enacting the re-enactments.

That’s not to say the Curse of Oak Island is not compelling! Though Marty Lagina seems to use the same expressions repeatedly, they are applied to different situations. He just makes it feel like we are re-living a previous episode.

They are now in the swamp, drilling down, to use a phrase for those irksome Matty Blake specials on the topic. What first hits them is the expensive floating drill machine, boring into some unknown hard substance,

The core samples are all clay, of varying hardness and dryness. However, that is not their goal: they want to find the wood of a Spanish galleon. Well, it does nto seem to be cooperating.

They move the floating feast of drill bores to another spot and again strike a waterproofing capstone. A rock formation appears to be there to keep out the water. Once again they may have struck pay-dirt without knowing why.

In the meantime, on a second Western front, ground penetrating radar finds a tunnel system on a part of the island that has not been explored.

 What?

You mean there are areas that have not been dug up. It is a revelation to viewers after six full seasons. Yes, there are tunnels where you don’t expect them, and a fresh faced geologist tells them their swamp is not prehistoric, but only in the range of 300 years old.

Fortunately Gary Drayton is still on the job and he locates what looks like primitive sledgehammer heads: two of them in close proximity. He claims they are quite old. His assessments are now regarded with less skepticism than in previous years. We have noticed the absence of Jack Begley, and the unannounced appearance of Peter Frenetti, another nephew this week.

Bring on a new fresh face: Carmen Legge, the local blacksmith historian who has delivered all the good news for two years. Now he is on set in the War Room: he has made the cut.

And, now he tells them their sledgehammer heads are actually tunnel sharpening devices that date back to the 1400s.

Who needs a Spanish galleon when the ground is like a mole’s delight: filled with tunnels everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Travel Back Centuries on Oak Island!

DATELINE: Gary Drayton Finds Another Gem!

  Two Islands Become Merged!

Curses aside, is it the year we finally hit paydirt? You need two hours for the first episode of the new season.

The seventh season premiere of The Curse of Oak Island is highly anticipated if only because of those promos that are promising the treasure steps to nirvana.

You could say everything is ship-shaped to begin the new year. There is a 200’ long ship apparently buried in the swamp. And, even more interesting, there is a road or wharf made of stone next to it.

The swamp now appears to be man-made and artificial for sure.

Yet, it is the team of Gary Drayton and Alex Lagina who find more beachfront artifacts. They had already been a team and good workers on the other gold digger show about the lost Civil War treasure.

Now they go out to a rocky locale to discover a spike of sorts. Once again, Drayton is the key and his uncanny insights date the item as quite old, despite not having any corrosion. He also finds a silver button, clearly belonging to someone of wealth or importance.

This stuff must go to more specific experts. A conservator is brought in to clean up the button

And, the old spike is brought to an expert who looks it over and sees it is used for stone carving, back in the 1300s. Of course, a tool made then could be used for hundreds of years.  Blacksmithing expert in Nova Scotia thinks it was a stonemason tool.  We are talking Templar and freemason connections. Again.

Had they found the actual tool that carved the infamous 90’ stone that led to the original search for the treasure?